Utah Archaeology, Underground Railroad, South African Politics, More: Tuesday Buzz, June 7, 2016


Utah has put its state archaeology site records online (though they’re still only available to archaeologists. “The Archaeological Site Form Scanning Project involved staffers scanning tens of thousands of paper forms to a state website, a step leaders with the Utah Division of State History say will make research easier and streamline the permitting process for those wanting to work on projects on public lands….The site records are protected under state law, limited to professional archaeologists to protect the sites from damage done by untrained visitors.”

In development: a database of biographical information for fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. “William Still, Philadelphia’s famed Underground Railroad conductor, maintained a detailed journal that listed biographical data for some 400 fugitive slaves he assisted in the 1850s. At the time, discovery of the journal could have endangered hundreds of freed slaves and their families. But more than 150 years later, researchers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania hope the document can better reveal the networks that comprised the Underground Railroad.”

South African citizens have a new tool to find their MP or Ward Councillor. “The People’s Assembly website, which is also easily accessible via your mobile phone, now solves that problem. The easy-to-use site allows you to find out who your MP or Ward Councillor is, where your nearest constituency office is located, and provide feedback on whether your constituency office is actually working well. This means that you can easily contact your local representative in order to report your concerns and problems. The website includes information on representatives for all three levels of government: national, provincial and local government.”


Facebook really, really wants you to use its Messenger App. “Keen to get as many users as it can onto its Messenger app, Facebook has started to warn users of its mobile website that its messaging capability will soon end. It’s not known how many people chat via Facebook’s mobile site rather than the Messenger app, but for some people, for example those with older handsets that struggle with the app, the website is a better option.”


Social Media Examiner: How to Create Twitter RSS Feeds For Better Prospecting. Includes tips on using Twitter’s advanced search and finding Twitter lists.

From Digital Trends: Are You Still a Picasa Holdout? How to Make Google Photos Work for You. Yeah, I am definitely a Picasa holdout…

Loud Techie has a roundup of duplicate content checkers.


Ars Technica reviews the saga of Nest and Alphabet. “Nest CEO Tony Fadell wasn’t officially ‘fired’ from Nest, but it certainly feels like it. Nest and Alphabet announced Fadell would be ‘transitioning’ to an advisory role at Alphabet, dropping both Nest and Fadell into a sea of negative press. In just the last few months, Nest has had to deal with reports of an ’employee exodus,’ a string of public insults from Dropcam co-founder and departing Nest employee Greg Duffy, news that even Google supposedly didn’t want to work with Nest on a joint project, and fallout from the company’s decision to remotely disable Nest’s deprecated Revolv devices. Alphabet and Nest both seem to know the announcement about Fadell’s ‘transition’ looks bad: the news dropped on a Friday afternoon, a popular time for companies to dump bad news they hope no one will notice.”

A petition has been launched to have Microsoft investigated for its Windows 10 update practices. Considering the trouble that upgrade has caused me and many people I know, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a bunch of class action lawsuits…


Google will have to face a class-action lawsuit over AdWords. “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Google Inc’s bid to throw out a class action lawsuit involving claims that the company deceived California advertisers about the placement of Internet ads through its Adwords service.”

The government of Russia is cracking down on what users post on social media. “At least 54 people were sent to prison for hate speech last year, most of them for sharing and posting things online, which is almost five times as many as five years ago, according to the Moscow-based Sova group, which studies human rights, nationalism and xenophobia in Russia. The overall number of convictions for hate speech in Russia increased to 233 last year from 92 in 2010.”

Depending on what kind of person you are, you may feel either reassured or annoyed that incredibly rich and famous people can be as silly about bad passwords as anyone else. “Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts were hacked over the weekend. The breach apparently happened after the Facebook boss’s login details were exposed via the recent LinkedIn password dump. This implies Zuckerberg reused passwords across multiple sites or perhaps that the format of the password he chose for other sites was guessable after breaking his LinkedIn login credentials.” Good morning, Internet…

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